Alan Chadwick a Gardener of Souls

Lecture by Alan Chadwick in Saratoga, May 2, 1972


Lecture 1, Part 1.8

An Introduction to Alan Chadwick's Lectures and a Glossary of Terms

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Contents of this Segment:

Alan Chadwick answers various questions from the audience: Wickson's Fruits and Vegetables; Organic and Biodynamic; Rudolf Steiner.



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Villa Montalvo Lecture Series

Saratoga, California, 1972, Lecture 1,

Cultivation, Part 8



Q: Can you suggest any books that we might read that would prepare us better?

A: Yes sir. The one I’m going to publish through Dutton. Well, I’ll tell you what I will do, if I may, next Tuesday. There are very, very few books about biodynamics, or even good books about organics. However, I will bring a list of books. I will also bring some books and I will have them here.


Q: Inaudible.

A: You’re recommending a book? I don’t know it. It sounds interesting. It’s called, “Gardening with Nature,” by Wickendon? I’ve certainly heard of it, and I think that I’ve actually glanced at it. I do a lot of gardening and don’t have much time for reading.


Q: Inaudible.

A: Never if I can help it. I imagine in about a year. There is a book of great quality. It’s not organic or biodynamic, but it’s of great quality, of a great master: Wickson, “California Fruits, ” and Wickson, “California Vegetables.” It’s a big volume. It was published round about 1890 to 1900. And they lived and farmed in this area as a family for about a century and a half. And they literally know everything. Also, there is a gentleman in the audience, Mr. Easterbrook*, who is a farmer of this area… for knowledge.


Q: Can you tell me the difference between biodynamic gardens and so-called organic gardens.

A: Of course. It’s a huge difference, and I tried to establish something of it tonight. You understand that organic gardening is really the system of gardening that has been occupied for five thousand years. And it simply means using the materials of natural aspect. Biodynamics brings in the whole fusion of relationships, and indeed, it was invented, in a sense, by Steiner who approached everything in the farm and the garden primarily from a spiritual aspect of approach. And with that aspect, he brought in the vision of how the procedures of the totality of the operation of the world flow into the matter. For instance, as we will deal next time, the influence, the total influence of the planetary system with cycles. How it operates with plants, with birds, with us.


Q: Was he adapting it to some sort of religious beliefs…

A: My answer is yes. I think everyone’s answer must be personal and relative. Philosophical, if you like, intensely religious. For everything that is spiritual or true must in a sense be religious. It depends upon your attribute of words, does it not?


Q: I have a very personal question I’d like to ask you…




[* Editor's Note: Harold and Louise Esterbrook were early supporters of the Saratoga Community Garden project. They owned a large parcel of land in Mendocino County, and at one point, invited Alan Chadwick to consider building a garden project there. I accompanied Alan to visit and view the place, perhaps in 1972 or 1973. Alan walked over much of the extensive acreage, mostly forested lands, which also included ancient Indian bathing pools carved into the rock near a perennial creek. The conclusion that he presented to the Easterbrook family was this: that we should make the place into a "Children's Paradise." This generated much enthusiasm on the part of everyone. I don't remember why it never happened; perhaps Alan was persuaded to relocate to Round Valley and initiate the Covelo project instead. gh]





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